After a $20 million bid yesterday, today it appears the Staples Center is quickly out of the running to host the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight in March.
Adviser Michael Koncz says that Manny Pacquiao has refused to fight there, and feels that Floyd Mayweather Jr. would do the exact same thing. As expected, part of the reason is California taxes:
"Manny is not interested in fighting in LA. I’m going to advocate against it also for the simple reason that its going to cost Manny an additional $3-$5 million in taxes to fight in LA. I mentioned to Manny that it looks like Staples Center and he said ‘I don’t want to fight in LA. I prefer Vegas,' and I didn’t even tell him about the taxes."
Koncz added "the bottom line is Manny’s preference is not to fight in California and I haven’t advised him not to do it for tax consequences which is an 11 percent tax plus I haven’t confirmed the amount but there’s an additional special athletic tax for foreigners who take part in sports in California."
One thing we might all have to accept is that Las Vegas is now the undisputed mecca of boxing, the home of the big fights, the city you fight in with your name on the marquee that means you've made it. At this point, the MGM Grand in Las Vegas is the home of the big fight, and nobody else is very close. Madison Square Garden is a memory in this race, the Staples Center isn't even in the discussion. About as close as it comes is probably the Mandalay Bay in Vegas, and they're a clear No. 2 behind the MGM.
The money is better, the city is at this point part of the routine for most of the fighters I'd imagine, and it's just the place to be. This fight is going to land in Vegas. I don't think there's any question of that now.